How to deal with Pirated Mediaaaar
How does a pirate find out what day it is? He looks at his Calendarrrrr!
Sorry about that, in case you didn’t know, today is international talk this a pirate day, our favourite day behind yellow cherry day (obvs!). Don’t worry, we’ll spare you from having to read this entire blog in pirate speak even though we really wanted to.
To stick with the theme, today we’re going to talk about people knicking your work and reproducing or distributing it without your permission, otherwise known as… pirating! Sadly, pirating, or copyright infringement as it’s legally known is very common, especially among small businesses. Business owners, specifically those working in creative fields are often unaware of how copyright actually works and how to stop people pirating their creations.
Luckily for you, copyright is automatic in the UK for:
- original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including illustration and photography
- original non-literary written work such as software, web content and databases
- sound and music recordings
- film and television recordings
- the layout of published editions of written, dramatic and musical works
This means there’s no process to go through or fee’s to pay (unlike a trademark or patent) but you are entirely responsible for your own copyright meaning that no one is going to monitor infringement for you.
So if you see someone using your work how do you go about stopping it? First off, find out the context. There are some exemptions to copyright law that you should be aware of before you waste your time and money. A list of exceptions can be found here.
If the business or individual are infringing your copyright, start by contacting them in writing, it may be that they themselves are unaware of copyright law and it’s a simple fix. If you can’t come to a simple resolution then it’s time to seek legal advice. Take time to research legal professionals who deal directly with intellectual property who can help you make a claim, this will save you a lot of time and stress!